Winners of the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Awards 2014 Announced

Winners of the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Awards 2014 Announced

09 June 2014 at 17:14

Innovative Student Engineer of the Year, by Siemens

Winning projects explore transporting critical medical supplies long distances and develop a more efficient way of harvesting willow to use as a renewable energy source

James King, a student at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and a native of Carrigaline, Co. Cork, has won first prize in the Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards 2014, sponsored by Siemens, it was announced today. Ruairi McGee, Anthony Mannion, Gary Lyons and Niall McHale a group of students from IT Sligo won the Level 7 category.

Titled ‘Drone Compatible Medical Transportation Pod’, James’ project charts the conception and development of a transportation pod, christened ‘Medi-Pod’.  The unique pod is designed to deliver critical medical supplies such as blood and organs, over large distances and to remote, inaccessible, possibly war torn areas via aerial drone. There is currently no device like this on the market.

John Power, Chartered Engineer, Director General of Engineers Ireland said, “Engineering is not only at the heart of our day-to-day lives but it is clear to see from the diverse range of projects entered this year that engineers play a vital role in many existing and developing industries in Ireland - from agriculture and automotive to technology and biomedical. Of the numerous job announcements over the past 12 months, many of these have been engineering opportunities. There continues to be real career options and demand for engineers of all backgrounds in Ireland. While there is an increase in the number of students opting for engineering at third level we still need more students choosing from the wide variety of engineering courses available to fulfil the employment needs of industry now and in the future.”

He continued, “I wish to congratulate all entrants, in particular the finalists, who are an example of the ingenuity and talent that exists in Ireland today.”

The Level 7 category winner, designed by IT Sligo students Ruairi McGee, Anthony Mannion, Gary Lyons and Niall McHale is titled ‘Willow Harvester Prototype’. This project involved the design, fabrication, testing and analysis of a new prototype device for whole stem willow harvesting. The students’ concept results in a more efficient and low cost process to harvesting willow as a renewable energy source.

Aiden Cawley of Siemens said the 2014 entries again showed students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society. “Congratulations to all the finalists who have been shortlisted, they are an inspiring group of students. The Innovative Student of the Year Award requires students to think creatively and develop new and improved devices, techniques and procedures. From health projects that explore improvements in breast cancer screening and transporting organs to war torn locations to innovations in farming equipment and the brewing process, this year’s entries exemplify original thinking, practical solutions and excellent technical competence.”

Run by Engineers Ireland and sponsored by Siemens the ‘Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards’ aims to promote and showcase excellence in engineering degrees across Ireland.  Final year students of Level 8 and Level 7 engineering degree programmes, accredited by Engineers Ireland, are eligible to enter and the competition is judged on the merit of final year projects. The winners receive an Engineers Ireland Excellence Award trophy, the title of 2014 Innovative Student of the Year, as well as €1,500 prize money.

The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award presentations took place in Engineers Ireland HQ, Clyde Road, Dublin 4 on Friday 6th June.  For further information about Engineers Ireland and the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards log onto

Engineers Ireland Innovative Student 2014, sponsored by Siemens


  • Level 8 - James King, CIT
  • Project: Drone compatible medical transportation pod - design, development and testing 
  • Level 7 - Ruairi McGee, Anthony Mannion, Gary Lyons, Niall McHale, IT Sligo
  • Project: Willow harvester prototype

Finalists, Level 8

  • Student: Niall O’Murchú, DIT
  • Project:  Design and build of an electromechanical suspension test rig
  • Student: Oisin Moore, NUI Galway
  • Project: Improving breast cancer screening – design of a microwave breast imaging prototype
  • Student:  Brian Hand, CIT
  • Project:  Analysis into wind induced loading on an STS crane and investigation into design optimisation

Finalists, Level 7

  • Group:   Ciarán Duffy, David Acheson, Niall Hunt, IT Sligo
  • Project:  Portable lift - design, build, testing and analysis of a new innovative prototype with a lifting capacity of two and a half tonne, fitted with and electro-hydraulic drive system suitable for lifting all types of vehicles, ‘Port-a-Lift’
  • Group:  Patrick Walsh, Mark O’Flynn, Shane O’Gorman, CIT
  • Project: Motorcycle transportation device - design, development and testing, ‘Insta-clamp’
  • Student: David Coleman, CIT
  • Project: The automation of the heat exchanger in the brewing process with a micro-brewery


Caption: Picture shows Aiden Cawley, Siemens (left); Shirley McDonald, Associate Membership Director, Engineers Ireland (right); with James King,(centre), a student at CIT and a native of Carrigaline, Co. Cork who has been named winner in the 2014 Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards, sponsored by Siemens, for his project titled ‘Drone compatible medical transportation pod’. James is pictured with is his invention the ‘Medi-Pod’. Pic: Naoise Culhane